Davis elected to leave ESPN after seven years to return to his alma mater, where the Burke, Va. native played in 137 games as a Tar Heel from 1988-92. His 48.9 3-point shooting percentage (64-of-131) during the 1990-91 season ranks as second-best in school history.
In an effort to acclimate the Tar Heel roster with its new assistant coach, Roy Williams utilized the NCAA’s summer practice rule to provide Davis with four weekly 45-minute individual workouts with each player.
His shooting prowess is well documented -- Davis ranks third in NBA history in 3-point field goal percentage (44.1) -- but his instruction during those one-on-one sessions went beyond the technique of stroke. With junior wing Reggie Bullock, for example, Davis focused on improving ball handling and penetration.
His immediate contributions, both on the practice floor as well as off the court, received strong praise during the player interview sessions at the ACC Operation Basketball media event on Wednesday.
Bullock referred to Davis as a “great addition” to the program, while James Michael McAdoo offered a lengthy commendation when asked about Williams’s first assistant coach hire since returning to Chapel Hill.
"He's brought a lot, I'll just say that,” McAdoo said. “I knew Coach Davis all last year. His house was always like a safe haven for me. His family, his kids, they're just a great Godly family that I can always lean on…
"I think he just brought a fresh new outlook on the game. He's so energetic and young. He's just like us. He's just trying to learn. This is his first time coaching and he's just soaking it all up much like us and much like the freshmen are doing. He's very energetic, which is great, and it's really something that I look forward to everyday in practice and just seeing him in the coaches’ office.”
Davis’s substantial NBA experience demands respect, but his leadership style consists embracing his players, whether it be through coordinating Bible study or doing the grunt work in practice.
“He’s always willing to help his players,” Bullock said. “He’ll rebound all day for us. He’ll be sweating like he’s in a full workout and he’ll go chase the ball if it bounces to halfcourt. He’ll chase it and say, ‘No, no, you stay there.’
For the record, nothing has changed with Davis’s smooth shooting stroke. The Tar Heel perimeter triumvirate – consisting of P.J. Hairston, Leslie McDonald and Bullock – doesn’t lack in confidence, but that doesn’t mean any of them have challenged Davis to a shooting duel.
“I don’t think anybody really wants to shoot against him,” Bullock said.
Even if North Carolina is unable to squeeze another of year of eligibility out of the 1991-92 second-team All-ACC guard, UNC hopes to capitalize on Davis's instruction to rectify the team's shooting woes after three of the worst seasons from 3-point territory in school history.
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